Faculty Highlight: Lauren McLane

DSC_8979The College of Law would like to introduce you to our newest professor, Lauren McLane! Professor McLane is the Faculty Director of the Defender Aid Clinic, and teaches courses in Forensic Evidence, as well as Advanced Criminal Procedure in collaboration with the UW Criminal Justice Department. She was also an enthusiastic volunteer faculty member for Wyoming Summer Trial Institute.

Professor McLane has settled into her new role seamlessly. She has been extremely proactive providing excellent learning opportunities for the students and reinvigorating the clinic. She recently organized an event in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Innocence Project and Pathway from Prison Organization, exploring the use of DNA testing and exoneration of falsely incarcerated prisoners in Wyoming – an event that had a record crowd in attendance.

At the helm of the clinic, McLane has big plans. While the clinic will continue to take on multiple appeal cases, McLane is hoping to shift the caseload to be more litigation based. This will allow the students to take a more hands-on approach in both trial advocacy and the appeal process, making them more versatile in their practice.

In order to achieve the goal of serving as both an appellate advocacy training group, and a trial advocacy program, the clinic will be working in partnership with the City of Laramie Attorney’s Office. Students will be able to take on misdemeanor cases in municipal court and manage the full case from start to finish. Additionally, the Clinic will work on integrating innocence claims back into their caseload in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center.

“We are really excited to be working with the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center,” says McLane. “Because this Clinic has historically been a post-conviction clinic, we want to continue doing that type of work, not only for our students, but because my predecessor Diane Courselle, was a member on their board and passionate about it. It feels very exciting and appropriate to keep that alive in the clinic.”

Professor McLane brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her new role. She completed her J.D. at Seattle University School of Law in Seattle, Washington, in 2008, and her B.S. degree in Communications at Radford University in Radford, Virginia, in 2002.

Prior to joining the UW College of Law in July 2018, McLane served in a variety of positions in the area of criminal defense. In 2009, she began her career as a public defender in King County, Washington, at The Defender Association where she represented indigent clients accused of crimes in a wide range of cases at both the misdemeanor and felony levels. In 2014, Professor McLane joined the private law firm of Padula & Associates where she continued her work in criminal defense. In her time as both a public defender and private practitioner, Professor McLane represented her clients at all stages of criminal defense practice and tried a significant number of jury trials, including felony trials that included serious charges such as murder. In 2017, Professor McLane joined the Innocence Project Northwest at the University of Washington School of Law where she investigated innocence claims made by Washington state prisoners and advocated and litigated for access to post-conviction DNA testing.

Early on in her career, Professor McLane became interested and highly competent in the area of forensic science; she has been published in this area, including her contributions to a publication accepted by the Journal of Forensic Sciences in 2014 and a book chapter in 2015-2016.

Professor McLane has also been recognized for her contributions to criminal defense work in the state of Washington, including a President’s Award from the Washington Defender Association in 2013 and a Champion of Justice Award from the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 2017. In 2011, Professor McLane began to train other lawyers in the areas of forensic science and pretrial and trial advocacy; she remained highly sought-after by lawyers and criminal defense entities for both technical assistance in case work as well as trainings and seminars until she left Washington state for the UW College of Law in July 2018.

Professor McLane’s primary research and scholarly interests lie at the crossroads of criminal law and forensic science. In her work, she has returned numerous times to questions about forensic science and its application in criminal courts, critically analyzing whether proper science is being admitted in courtrooms. Related to this area, Professor McLane is also interested in researching, teaching, and writing centered on concepts of meta- and accelerated learning for law students and lawyers. One of Professor McLane’s purposes for teaching law school is to help students master complex areas of the law and then practically apply those concepts and principles to the real world of lawyering.

Courselle Pledge Card
If you are interested in supporting the Defender Aid Clinic, consider making a contribution to the Diane Courselle Memorial Clinic Fund.   GIVE ONLINE

“This is very much a dream job for me,” says McLane. “It has all of things that are important to me rolled into in one. Not only do I get to continue practicing the law, I get to teach the law to students. This job allows me to focus the areas of the law that I’m extremely passionate about and integrate them practically into my pedagogy, and then further apply it in the real life courtroom.”

The College of Law is very excited at the arrival of Professor McLane and looks forward to seeing the Clinical activities grow and thrive under her tutelage.

A Tribute to Terry W. Mackey

We at the College of Law are deeply saddened by the passing of a most beloved friend and alumnus, Terrence W. Mackey.

There are few people in this word that have the ability to touch the lives of everyone they knew and leave them for the better. Terry was one of those people. He had infectious good humor, charm, and a wit that brightened the day of everyone around him and left an indelible mark on your soul. Moreover, he had a selfless nature and generous heart. He gave so much to the University of Wyoming, especially the College of Law. He often spent time at the college in the capacity of a teacher and mentor, sharing his passion for the law, his respect and pride for the profession, and of course, his love for the Cowboys and Cowgirls.

A driving force behind the College of Law Moot Courtroom renovation, Terry believed that the building should be reflective of the quality of students coming out of it. The beautiful project that ensued is due in large part to his efforts, and true to his word, the College of Law produces skilled trial advocacy graduates because of him.

Perhaps one of his greatest contributions was the Summer Trial Institute. One of the founding attorneys of the program, Terry donated countless hours of his time, making himself available for the full two weeks of the program every year since it began in 2011. When the program expanded our capacity in Laramie, he even helped implement the program in Alaska, traveling up to help teach for a full week. The students that had the good fortune to learn trial advocacy from him should count themselves some of the luckiest, and those of us that administer the program consider ourselves even luckier. The program is part of his lasting legacy.

The pure talent that he had on his feet and in the courtroom was nothing short of impressive. The skills that he taught our students were even more appreciated when we had the good fortune to see him in action. Terry showcased his experience and abilities in the 2017 Spence Law Firm Historic Trial where he volunteered to serve as the Plaintiff attorney on the case, and won. There is really only one word that is appropriate to describe his performance – Wow!

His service and dedication was the embodiment of what it means to be a good lawyer. In addition to the countless hours he spent teaching the Summer Trial Institute program, he served on the College of Law Alumni Board since its inception in 1994, even serving as the inaugural President. He was also appointed to the Dean’s Advisory Board in 2007 and was easily one of the cornerstones of the group. He was unfailingly outspoken on the topics that were important to him, and kept the Board on task for the things that mattered most for the College’s mission, mainly its clinical programs.

In his professional life, Terry was a force to be reckoned with. Following three years in the United States Navy, Terry graduated from Casper College in 1966 with an Associate’s Degree, and again from the University of Wyoming in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. He then attended the University of Wyoming College of Law, where he served on the Law Review and worked in the Defender Aid Program. He graduated with his treasured J.D. in 1970. His resume is a laundry list of both civil and criminal litigation experience, including an argument before the United States Supreme Court. In his 48 years of practice, he enjoyed a reputation as one of the top trial lawyers in Wyoming. The College of Law was pleased to honor his career and service in 2013 with the Distinguished Alumni Award, and again in 2016 for his achievements while in law school as the Honorary Order of the Coif Recipient.

In the words of Professor Steve Easton, “Terry was a lawyer’s lawyer. The best kind of lawyer. The kind of lawyer who stands next to someone who does not have another friend in the world and fights like hell for him, sometimes in a lost cause, but never going down without a fight. There is no higher calling for someone who holds a law license.”

What Terry did for the College of Law pales in comparison to who he was. He was unwaveringly kind, steadfastly loyal, and gracious in both person and spirit. The most cherished memories of Terry are simply being in his presence. He had the ability to endear himself to all and the talent to make anything fun–even grading Jury Instructions. He would often share stories about his family, old battles in the courtroom, or his time in the Navy, always with that mischievous twinkle in his eye. He was vivacious, and relished the good things in life and foremost, the people in it.

Losing him is a heavy blow to our hearts, but we are forever fortunate that we will continue to see the effects of his support for years to come through our trial advocacy programs and the contributions he has made throughout the years. He was truly one of the greatest men we have ever known. We are deeply honored and privileged to have called him a friend.

Terry Tribute
Memorial services will be at the First Presbyterian Church (220 W. 22nd Street, Cheyenne, WY 82001) beginning at 1:00 pm on Saturday, September 8th.  A celebration will follow at the Cheyenne Country Club (800 Stinner Road, Cheyenne, WY 82001). For those interested in making contributions in Terry’s honor, we suggest contributing to the Terry W. Mackey Scholarship Fund at the UW College of Law.  Those contributions should be sent to The University of Wyoming Foundation.  Please designate Terry W. Mackey Scholarship in honor of Mr. Terry W. Mackey.  The address is University of Wyoming Foundation, 222 South 22nd Street, Laramie, WY 82070.


College of Law Professor Tara Righetti Appointed Trustee-at-Large by the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation

DSC_9265In recognition of her expertise in the field and proactive involvement with the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Professor Tara Righetti has been appointed a trustee-at-large. With an impeccable reputation, she has established herself as a go-to expert in the field, and a tremendous asset in the region.

The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is a collaborative, educational, non-profit organization dedicated to the scholarly and practical study of the laws and regulations relating to mining, oil and gas, energy, public lands, water, environmental and international law. In her capacity as a trustee-at-large, Professor Righetti will help to advise the Board of Directors leading the Foundation.

“Professor Righetti has distinguished herself as a rising star in the field of oil and gas law,” says Alex Ritchie, Executive Director of the RMMLF. “She also gives willingly and enthusiastically of her time to educate the community of natural resources professionals and landmen on complex oil and gas issues. The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation greatly appreciates the service she has provided to our organization and is honored to have her on our Trustees Council.”

Prior to her career in academia, Righetti served as CEO and general counsel of a privately owned upstream oil and gas company. Since joining the University of Wyoming in 2014, Professor Righetti has been diligently working to provide important research for her discipline, informative resources for the Wyoming natural resources community, and educational opportunities for students. She serves on the Executive Committee of Wyoming Association of Professional Landmen (WAPL), and is a certified professional landman. Appointed in a joint capacity to the College of Law, the College of Business, and the School of Energy Resources, Professor Righetti carries the responsibility of a dedicated researcher and educator, as well as serving as the Director for the Professional Land Management Program.

Some of her current projects are reflective of her drive and passion for the exploration of energy issues. She recently presented a paper at the 64th Annual Institute of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, held in Victoria, British Columbia. Her paper entitled, “Environmental Considerations in Oil and Gas Conservation and Permitting,” will be published in the forthcoming Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Annual Institute Proceedings later this fall.

Additionally, Professor Righetti gave a presentation at the WAPL Educational Seminar on August 2nd in Sheridan, Wyo. A non-profit, the WAPL is a professional organization dedicated to the advancement of the profession of land work in mineral exploration. Her presentation focused on Wyoming’s Split Estate Act and Royalty Payment Act.

Professor Righetti will also be hosting a RMMLF Young Professionals Workshop in the fall. The workshop will allow attorneys, students, and other interested parties to participate in a video-linked presentation and networking event to learn about interesting topics in energy and join the community of young practitioners around the country. (More details on the event will be forthcoming on the College of Law website).

“I am truly honored to be serving as a trustee-at-large for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation,” says Righetti. “I look forward to the opportunity to be more active in the Foundation and to contribute to the important educational work it does for our students and the industry.”

The College of Law commends the RMMLF on their selection of Professor Righetti to be part of the Trustee Council. We are extremely proud of her hard work and achievements.

Professor Stoellinger’s Research Cited in Endangered Species Act Reform Discourse

DSC_7760A recent publication by Professor Temple Stoellinger is proving to be a key asset in the current discussion of reforming the 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA). The article, “Wildlife Issues are Local – So Why Isn’t ESA Implementation?” was published in the 2017 fall issue of Ecology Law Quarterly, and offers insight into the interpretation of a long-forgotten section of the ESA permitting more authority to the individual states on endangered species matters.

A discussion draft bill recently proposed by Senator John Barasso, leaning heavily on the work spearheaded by Governor Matt Mead (J.D. ’87) through the Western Governor’s Association, seeks to make several changes to the ESA. The proposed legislation has brought new attention on the subject and opened the door for dialogue.

Professor Stoellinger’s publication has been helpful to inform the larger conversation on the state’s role of the implementation of the ESA and the history of the Act itself. The research brief explores the legislative history of the ESA and proposes a solution that would give states greater authority to manage listed species without needing to implement reforms to the actual law.

Professor Stoellinger has been cited in news media outlets across Wyoming including Wyoming Public Media, the Casper Star Tribune, and the Wyoming Business Report.

The College of Law is extremely proud to have to see the efforts of our faculty at the forefront of national legislative discussions.


The Center for International Human Rights Law & Advocacy Releases Report Divide, Develop, and Rule: Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia

cover-ethiopia-reportThe Center for International Human Rights Law & Advocacy (CIHRLA) at the University of Wyoming College of Law is pleased to announce the release of a new report, Divide, Develop, and Rule: Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia. The report features primary research conducted in Ethiopia, Egypt and the United States between October 2017 and February 2018. The study also aggregates available information from the Ethiopian government, opposition groups, foreign governments, human rights organizations, journalists, lawyers, researchers, and scholars about human rights issues in Ethiopia affecting 1) actual or perceived political opponents, 2) journalists, 3) members of certain ethnic groups, 4) the LGBT community, and 5) women and girls.

Divide, Develop, and Rule was a collaborative effort between students and faculty participating in the College of Law’s fall 2017 Human Rights Practicum and attorneys in Washington, D.C. The report was prepared by UW College of Law Professor Noah Novogrodsky, Robert J. Golten Fellow Adam Severson, attorneys Julia Brower and Mark Clifford of Covington & Burling LLP, and law students Jennie Boulerice of Cheyenne, Wyo., Catherine Di Santo of Jackson, Wyo., Emily Madden of Torrington, Wyo., Brie Richardson of Jackson, Wyo., and Gabriela Sala of Fort Collins, Colo.

The report is intended as a reference document for asylum and refugee lawyers, immigration judges, policy makers, and academics. It provides a snapshot of current country conditions and a starting point for additional research. It also seeks to give context to recent political developments in Ethiopia, which have generated cautious optimism that Ethiopia’s ruling coalition may be preparing to confront decades of serious human rights violations.

Catherine DiSanto (left), Emily Madden (right)

Student contributors Emily Madden and Catherine Di Santo traveled with Professor Novogrodsky and Adam Severson to Washington D.C. in April of 2018 to share an early version of the report with D.C. immigration lawyers. A second presentation of the report’s findings was shared with members of the Colorado Bar on June 27, 2018.

The Center will continue to monitor the changes underway in Ethiopia and update the document as necessary.

The full report can be found on the Center for International Human Rights Law & Advocacy website.

Faculty Highlight: Professor Duff – a Prominent Voice in Worker’s Compensation Law and Labor Law

Duff_8789The College of Law’s Professor Michael Duff has established himself as one of the leading experts in workers’ compensation law and labor law in the nation. In addition to being recognized as a fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers (CWCL), he is regularly quoted in the national press on workers’ compensation systems and labor issues arising from the National Labor Relations Act. Professor Duff’s reputability has even led to Bloomberg reporting that he is their “go to” academic this year on Railway Labor Act matters and the operations of the National Mediation Board.

Some of the most recent publications of 2018 in which Professor Duff has been quote are listed below:

Quoted in “ERISA Question May Kill States’ Retirement Programs,” by Emily Brill, Law360, June 8, 2018.

Quoted in “The Days of the Airline Strike May be Over,” by Justin Bachman and Mary Schlangenstein, Bloomberg, June 8, 2018.

Quoted in “Musk Stock-Option Tweet Violated U.S. Labor Law, UAW Alleges,” by Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg, May 24, 2018.

Quoted in “Airline Pilots May be Next in the Corporate War on Unions,” by Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg, May 1, 2018.

Quoted in “Court to Decide if Kentucky Can Hold a Georgia Hospital to its Fee Schedule,” by William Rabb, WorkCompCentral, April 24, 2018.

Quoted in “Union Leader Faces Members’ Protest Over Sexual Misconduct Claims,” by Mike Elk and Karina Moreno, The Guardian, April 22, 2018.

Quoted in “The Real Gig Problem for Work Comp,” by Peter Rousmaniere, WorkersCompensation.com, April 18, 2018.

Quoted in “U.S. Labor Board’s Holocaust Commemoration Goes Awry,” by Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg, April 13, 2018.

Quoted in “Death Benefits Bill Goes to Governor,” by William Rabb, WorkCompCentral, April 9, 2018.

Quoted in “Labor Board Democrat Under Investigation for Loose Talk,” by Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg, March 29, 2018.

Quoted in “Trump Labor Board Scrambles to Avoid Pro-Worker Ruling, Lawyers Claim,” by Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg, March 17, 2018.

Quoted in “Postmates Paid Premiums, but Cases Still Rare,” by Joyce Famakinwa, Business Insurance, March 5, 2018.

Quoted in “Modern Constitutional Challenges to Workers’ Compensation Systems,” by Hon. Wesley G. Marshall, IAIABC Perspectives Magazine, March 2018.

Quoted in “Inside the Trump Administration’s Plan to Shrink the NLRB,” by Bruce Vail, In These Times, January 31, 2018.

Quoted in “Pittsburgh Post-Gazette employees plan byline strike Thursday to protest stalled contract negotiations with management,” by Stephen Caruso, Pittsburgh City Paper, January 24, 2018.

Not only has Duff been a driving force in the advancement of workers’ compensation law nationwide, he has also made significant contributions locally. Over the course of the 2017-2018 academic year, Professor Duff hosted a Workers’ Compensation Law Symposia at the College of Law. The Symposia consists of a series of four presentations exploring workers’ compensation laws and issues relating specifically to Wyoming. Seeking to provide Wyoming with more doctrine in workers’ compensation law, the resulting research from the series will be compiled to form a Wyoming Treatise on Workers’ Compensation Law that will be providing a much needed resource in an under-represented area of the law. The Symposia presentations are still available on the College of Law Website.

As further evidence of Professor Duff’s service, dedication, and expertise to his research and the law, he was recognized as a recipient of the 2017 Extraordinary Merit Award by the College of Law for his efforts.

Professor Duff has been with the College of Law since 2006. He teaches courses in Torts I, Labor Law, Workers’ Compensation Law, and Employee Benefits Law. He has also taught Administrative Law, Evidence, Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Workplace, Introduction to Law, and it is anticipated that he will teach the College of Law’s Bankruptcy course beginning in Spring Semester 2019.

Professor Duff is a tremendous asset to the College of Law, and we are excited to see his continued success and proud to recognize all of his achievements!


Faculty Highlight: Jason Robison Leads Influential Water Law & Policy Projects

Professor Jason Robison, the water law and policy expert at the University of Wyoming jason_webCollege of Law, has delivered a consistent stream of scholarly work within his field, encompassing a combination of domestic, comparative, and international projects.

Over the past two academic years, Robison has been involved in the groundbreaking, collaborative project Vision and Place: John Wesley Powell and Reimagination of the Colorado River Basin, which commemorates the sesquicentennial of John Wesley Powell’s historic 1869 Expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers. In addition to paying homage to the epic exploration of the Colorado River Basin, the project consists of an interdisciplinary collection of scholarly chapters addressing the future of water, public lands, and Native Americans in the Colorado River Basin. Robison is serving as lead editor for the project.

Most recently, Robison was one of the few academics selected to deliver a presentation at Columbia Law School’s Sabin Colloquium on Innovative Environmental Law Scholarship. The Colloquium is a competitive forum in which pre-tenure law scholars are selected to present early-stage work before a panel of senior legal scholars in order to receive constructive feedback. Proposals are selected based on the degree of innovation they exhibit, and the likelihood that the work will yield real environmental solutions. Robison was one of ten junior scholars invited to the colloquium. His draft article, The Life of the Yellowstone River Compact, addresses the United States Supreme Court’s recently issued decision in the eleven-year long proceeding of Montana v. Wyoming, an interstate water compact dispute.

Also in the domestic realm, Professor Robison has recently joined Professor Emeritus Dan Tarlock of the Chicago-Kent College of Law as co-author of the long-running treatise, Law of Water Rights and Resources. The most recent edition (2018) containing updates from Professors Robison and Tarlock is available for preorder here.

Robison has also been active in comparative and international law. He recently co-authored articles on water justice for Indigenous Peoples in the Colorado, Columbia, and Murray-Darling basins, as well as transboundary water law and policy in the Indus River Basin. Growing out of the latter project, Robison is working with Harvard Law School colleague Erum Sattar to help organize a transboundary water conference at the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Islamabad this fall. Robison has also recently begun research with UW colleagues Noah Novogrodsky (law) and Bryan Shuman (geology/geophysics) on the Silala River dispute between Chile and Bolivia currently before the International Court of Justice.

Beyond his scholarship, Robison has the honor of serving on President Nichols’ Advisory Committee on Native American Affairs, and working with remarkable Indigenous and non-Indigenous colleagues in this capacity. Robison is currently chairing a 17-person subcommittee tasked with drafting a first-ever Native American Affairs strategic plan for UW.

The College of Law is extremely lucky to have a professor of such high caliber, dedication, and drive among the faculty. The College of Law congratulates Professor Robison on his accomplishments and looks forward to his further projects.